Marcia Barnes

Marcia Barnes

Professor & H.E. Hartfelder/Southland Corp Regents Chair

Mild/Moderate Disabilities & Diversity


Office & Hours

Office: SZB 408D

(512) 232-9258

Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Department of Special Education, College of Educat
1 University Station Stop D5300
Austin, TX 78712
UT Mail Code: D5300

Full Vita
download vita (pdf)


Marcia. Barnes is a Professor of Special Education, she studies typical and atypical development of mathematics and reading comprehension and has a special emphasis on learning difficulties in children with neurodevelopmental disorders and acquired brain injury. She has over 100 publications including articles in refereed journals, book chapters, and books.  She has received grant support from the Institute of Educational Sciences, the National Institute of Child Health and Development, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network.  Current research in mathematics compares the efficacy of an early mathematics intervention with combined mathematics and attention interventions for preschool children at high risk for later math learning difficulties. Her current reading research involves investigating the sources of secondary students’ comprehension difficulties and experimental work to test the malleability of text-level skills such as inference-making that are important for reading comprehension. 




Ph.D., McMaster University


Representative Publications

Barnes, M. A.*, Raghubar, K. P., English, L., Williams, J. M., Taylor, H., & Landry, S. (2014). Longitudinal mediators of achievement in mathematics and reading in typical and atypical development. Journal of experimental child psychology, 119, 1-16.

Barnes, M.A.*, Raghubar, K.P., Faulkner, H., & Denton C.A. (2014). The Construction of Visual-spatial Situation Models in Children’s Reading and Their Relation to Reading Comprehension. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 119, 101-111. 

Arrington, C.N.*, Kulesz, P.A., Francis, D.J., Fletcher, J.M., & Barnes, M.A. (2014). The contribution of attentional control and working memory to reading comprehension and decoding. Scientific Studies of Reading. 

Pike, M.*, Swank, P., Taylor, H., Landry, S., & Barnes, M. A. (2013). Effect of Preschool Working Memory, Language, and Narrative Abilities on Inferential Comprehension at School-Age in Children with Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele and Typically Developing Children. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 19, 1-10.

Pike, M.A*., Barnes, M.A. & Barron, R.W. (2010). The role of illustrations in children’s inferential comprehension. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 105, 243-255. 

Raghubar, K*., Barnes, M.A., & Hecht, S. (2010). Working memory and mathematics: A review of developmental, individual difference and cognitive approaches. Learning and Individual Differences, 20, 110-122. 

*Graduate Students



Recent Awards

  • 09/2013 -    
  • Manuel J. Justiz Endowed Chair in Math, Science, and Technology In Teacher Education
  • 2009-2013    
  • Endowed Research Chair, Childhood Reading & Learning, UTHSC-Houston          
  • 2005-2006    
  • Presidential Distinguished Professor Award for Teaching, Research, & Service, University of Guelph      
  • 2004-2009    
  • University Research Chair, University of Guelph    

Current Research Projects and Grants

2011-2016  Institute of Education Sciences. A Randomized Trial of a Tutor-Based Mathematics and Attention Intervention for Low-Performing Preschoolers at Risk for Mathematical Difficulties in School. (PI)

2012-2016  Institute of Education Sciences. Enhancing early Learning for Infants with Disabilities: A Responsive Parent Intervention (Co-PI)

2011-2016  NIH Texas Center for Learning Disabilities (Co-I)

2010-2015  Institute of Education Sciences. Understanding Malleable Cognitive Processes and Integrated Comprehension Interventions for Grades 7-12 (Co-PI)

Research Interests and Expertise

Typical and atypical development of reading comprehension and mathematics

Boards, Committees and Associations

  • Consulting Editor, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Quarterly Journal of Learning Disabilities
  • Regular Panel Member, U.S. Department of Education-Institute of Educational Sciences, Mathematical and Science Education Research Review Panel
  • 2004-2008  Chair of Social and Behavioral Sciences Review Committee, US March of Dimes National Grants Review Panel
  • Member - Society for Research in Child Development, International Neuropsychological Association, Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, Council for Exceptional Children, Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Canadian Psychological Association, Ontario College of Psychologists